Microsoft is bringing back its weather widget on the Windows 11 taskbar. It’s a feature that originally debuted in Windows 10, providing live weather conditions and quick access to the broader widget and news feed. Windows 11 removed this taskbar integration in favor of a separate widgets panel, though.
“We are trying out showing the Widgets entry point on the left side of your taskbar with live weather content,” explains Amanda Langowski, Microsoft’s Windows Insider chief. “You can also open the Widgets board by simply hovering over the entry point.”
The weather widget will be displayed on the left side of the taskbar by default, or as an additional icon if you have your Windows 11 taskbar aligned to the left. This latest taskbar change, available in the Windows 11 Dev Channel, follows the ability for testers to display the time and date across multiple monitors. Both changes are expected to rollout in a Windows 11 update in 2022.
Alongside the taskbar changes, Microsoft is also announcing a new Voice Access feature for Windows 11. “Voice access is a new experience that enables everyone, including people with mobility disabilities, to control their PC and author text using their voice,” says Langowski.
Voice Access will support opening apps, switching between them, and activities like browsing the web or reading and composing emails. Once enabled, you can use commands like “open Word” to open Microsoft’s word processing app, or even say “click” to select items.
Voice Access appears to be a combination of Microsoft’s various speech recognition tools in Windows over the years. It’s not yet clear when Voice Access will be available for all Windows 11 users, and Microsoft says new features will show up in future annual Windows releases or as part of monthly servicing releases.